Atea Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: AVIR) stock price crashed 76.6% premarket after its COVID-19 antiviral drug candidate failed to treat patients with mild symptoms of the coronavirus.
The drug, co-developed with Roche Holdings, failed to meet its primary endpoint of an apparent reduction in symptoms within the population of patients with moderate to mild COVID-19 symptoms.
However, the drug did reduce the viral load in high-risk patients who had underlying conditions, which was not its primary goal.
The company postponed the release of data from a more extensive late-stage study planned for the current quarter to the second half of next year.
Atea’s drug was meant to compete with Merck’s ‘molnupiravir’, which showed 50% effectiveness in reducing patients’ hospitalisation and death rate with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
Merck had applied for emergency use approval of its antiviral drug from the US FDA last week.
Investors are currently expecting Pricer to report the data on its antiviral drug later this quarter as competition to treat COVID-19 within the US heats up among leading pharma companies.
Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Atea’s founder and CEO, said: “The primary endpoint was not achieved in the overall study population in patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. However, MOONSONG topline data suggest that AT-527 has antiviral activity in high-risk patients with underlying health conditions as we previously reported in the Phase 2 hospitalized study,”
“Based on these and other AT-527 data, we with our partner Roche, are assessing potential modifications to the Phase 3 MORNINGSKY protocol that may likely lead to improved clinical outcomes.”
Atea Pharma (AVIR) shares are likely to open much lower today, but I will be watching its performance over the coming weeks to see if it can recover.
*This is not investment advice.
Atea Pharma (AVIR) stock price.
Atea Pharma (AVIR) stock price plunged 76.63% to trade at $9.49, falling from Monday’s closing price of $40.60.
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